Barbara McClintock Fellowship

Are you interested in research at the forefront of biological sciences? Are you interested in research that will lead to transformative breakthroughs in fundamental science and technologies from a national security perspective? If so, you could join our dynamic team as Sandia’s inaugural McClintock Fellow!

The Sandia Barbara McClintock Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship has been established in honor of Nobel-Prize winner, Barbara McClintock. McClintock’s pioneering work in maize demonstrated that genes are responsible for turning physical characteristics on and off and her theories explained the suppression and expression of genetic information from one generation to the next.

As a Sandia McClintock Postdoctoral Fellow, you will spend half of your time on your own original, self-directed research and half of your time on your choice of an established Sandia research project. The established project could include:

  • Testing novel phage platforms for the purpose of developing new vaccines or gene therapy delivery systems
  • Developing phages and other techniques for altering microbiomes, removing pathogens, or safely altering microbiome genetics in situ with a focus on sustainable fuels production.
  • Designing and developing novel tools to employ anti-CRISPR CRISPR to harden bioeconomy organisms against tampering, inadvertent alteration, and unintended consequences.
  • Using advanced microfluidics systems capable of mimicking both the blood brain barrier and the central nervous system to study alphavirus pathogenesis.
  • Comprehensive discovery and characterization of prokaryotic mobile elements and horizontal gene transfer, and applications of discoveries to synthetic biology and microbiome engineering.

This position is a temporary position for one year, which may be renewed at Sandia’s discretion for up to two additional years. The selected Fellow will receive a highly competitive salary, moving expenses, an equipment budget, and a generous professional travel allowance. You are expected to publish the results of your work in leading journals and present it at top-tier conferences. Applicants on this requisition may be interviewed by multiple organizations and considered for this and other postdoctoral positions at Sandia National Laboratories.  The selected candidate must be able to work onsite at either the Livermore, CA or Albuquerque, NM campus location.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph. D. in a field relevant to biological sciences, conferred within the past three years, or anticipated completion of PhD requirements by commencement of appointment
  • A background that includes appropriate research experience as evidenced by a strong record of research publications and presentations

Desired Qualifications

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE security clearance, which requires U.S. Citizenship
  • Proven ability to advance the state-of-the-art in biological sciences or bioengineering and/or related fields of study
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and interpersonal skills
  • Proven research community leadership through activities such as participation in student or professional organizations, outreach activities, etc.
  • Related professional experience such as internships in industry or at other national labs, participation in visiting research programs, etc.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment alongside specialists in other domains
  • A commitment to encourage an inclusive culture, as proven through your application materials

Application Process

To apply for the Barbara McClintock Fellowship:

  • Click "Apply for Job" on this page and submit a single PDF file containing your cover letter, CV, and a 3 to 5 page research proposal.
  • Have three letters of recommendation submitted to with "2023 McClintock Fellowship" as the subject line.
  • You may email with any questions or for help identifying a staff member to provide a Sandia perspective on your proposed research.
  • Complete applications received no later than 5 pm Pacific Time, November 21, 2023, will receive full consideration.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.